On Hoofing It and Pushing Babies Out of the Nest


First a little background info: Kevin takes drum lessons on Saturday afternoons.  Michael takes him.  It coincides with Finn’s nap time, and it just makes the most sense for Michael to take Kevin to his drum lessons.  However, Michael has of late taken on a team manager position for Joey’s upcoming Little League season.  In this capacity, he is obligated to be present for the kids’ tryouts for most of the day tomorrow, so he will not be able to take Kevin to his drum lesson tomorrow afternoon, which, for the record, is already paid for.  This leaves three options:

1.  Cancel tomorrow’s drum lesson and lose the $30 it cost.

2.  I take Kevin to his drum lesson, which would necessitate Finn missing his nap and which would also necessitate my piling ALL the kids into the truck for a short drive to drop Kevin off for his lesson, wait the half hour until he finishes, and then drive everyone home.

3.  Kevin hangs out with Michael at the ball field and then walks to his music lesson from the ball field.

I vote for option 3, and so does Michael.  Kevin is balking.  I have to admit that at first blush, I balked too.  It’s a busy street!  It’s quite a walk!  He’s only . . . wait a second . . . he’s fourteen!  Geez.  I was walking farther distances than that every single day when I was his age.  That settles it – he’s walking.  But nope, he’s refusing!

Where have we gone wrong?  Have we spoiled him?  Have we sheltered him too much?

Honestly, I don’t think it’s laziness on his part.  I think the prospect of this particular walk makes him a little nervous (though he won’t admit it – but I think I have a pretty good read on the boy), because he’s never done it before.  And it is a major thoroughfare.

Out of curiosity, I used my handy iPhone to clock the distance.  The ball field is on the same street as the music school, so it would be a straight shot of exactly 1.4 miles.  Out of further curiosity, I clocked the distances I walked every day to junior high (1.1 miles each way) and high school (2 miles each way – right about what I thought).  Michael, who regaled Kevin with stories of walking at least FIVE miles to school every day in the snow when he was a kid, clocked the distance of his actual childhood walk to school and came up with  . . . a mile and a half (evidence, my friends, that women are a much better judge of measurements than men are).

Anyway, this confirmed to us that we’re not asking anything unreasonable of Kevin.  Less than a mile and a half!  And he’s fourteen!  And, I reminded him, he will be starting high school later this year and will, in fact, be walking to and from every day.

He’s still balking.  So now he has a choice: make the walk to his music lesson, or pay us the $30 we’ll lose if he doesn’t go.

Mean parents.

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3 Comments on “On Hoofing It and Pushing Babies Out of the Nest”

  1. Asha
    January 30, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    Is it the walking alone part that has him worried?
    We drill into them : “stay within my sight””stranger danger”, maybe that’s why he is reluctant?
    We do “buddy system” in our house. You have to have another person with you to go farther distances… Can he take a friend?

  2. Addie
    January 31, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    I think this is what I would have done… eager to hear what happened

  3. Meg
    January 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    You are soooo right. Stay strong. He’ll be better off for it:)
    Let us know what happens.

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